On April 27 and 28, 1999, the Yugoslav Army and the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs conducted the infamous Reka Operation to the west of Gjakova. During the operation, members of the Serbian forces killed at least 350 civilians — in what is now known as the Meja Massacre — while expelling thousands more to Albania. For most of the civilians killed, the cause of death was a gunshot wound, mostly to the head, suggesting that the victims had not died in combat but executed outside of combat situations.
The remains of 309 victims, along with over 500 victims of other massacres, were found in 2001 in secret mass graves in Batajnica, a suburb of Belgrade. Today, the Meja massacre is considered the most serious crime against civilians committed during the war in Kosovo. Not coincidentally, the National Day of Missing Persons in Kosovo is marked on April 27.
Lush Krasniqi, survivor of the Reka Operation, reconstructs the day of the massacre and speaks about the hard struggle of finding out the fate of his loved ones and over 350 other victims, as well as the extraordinary efforts to bury them with dignity.
Feature Image: Atdhe Mulla / K2.0
This podcast was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Kosovo 2.0 and Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.